Steven Gerrard has lamented a referee error that cost Aston Villa a potential win over Manchester City on Saturday.
An out-of-form Villa side put up a valiant resistance against a dominant City side who finally broke the deadlock in the second half thanks to Erling Haaland’s free-kick.
But to the shock of players at Villa Park, the home side equalized through Leon Bailey in the closing stages of the game before securing a much-needed point.
However, Gerrard’s side were saddened not to get all three away after Philippe Coutinho scored a smashing goal from outside the box, but only after referee Simon Hooper called the whistle.
Hooper had stopped play when his linesman flagged Coutinho offside in advance, but replays clearly showed the attacking midfielder was indeed offside.
Due to the introduction of VAR, linesmen are supposed to delay marking offside in case the game results in a goal and they made the wrong decision, but this procedure was not followed in this case.
And because the referee blew his whistle before Coutinho blocked his shot, VAR couldn’t check the goal and knocked over the referees on the pitch.
As a result, Gerrard was understandably upset, saying: “He called twice early. He whistled when Ezri challenged Konsa Ederson.
“Why whistle? Why not wait and use VAR if there is a problem? And he called Phil’s cause too early.
‘He was desperate after the whistle that went against us twice in the game. I saw a legitimate target, but obviously I’m biased.’
It comes after a day of numerous VAR controversies in the Premier League, which saw West Ham level against Chelsea after Edouard Mendy was fouled in the build-up.
This was blasted by Irons boss David Moyes, who called the decision “scandalous” and “lazy”.
Additionally, Newcastle were disallowed a goal after Joe Willock was found to have fouled Crystal Palace keeper Vicente Guaita, with VAR officials overlooking the fact that Palace defender Tyrick Mitchell pushed Willock to Guaita.
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